After Emmanuel Macron’s statement on continued restrictions in France, Michelin-starred chef Philippe Etchebest warned the government and the public about the state of the restaurant sector.
The chef of Michelin-starred restaurant Le Quatrième Mur, Philippe Etchebest, who has played an active role on behalf of the restaurant sector since the closure of restaurants in France on 15 March, said in the channel France 24 that this process was challenging for the sector, saying “We were the first ones to close at the beginning of this crisis and we will be the last ones to open.” The celebrity chef stated that there had been difficulties before the pandemic by saying, “We restaurant owners have low cash levels and this is because we have been in difficulty for the past 1.5 years,” and highlighted that plans for the future should be made by saying, “But we need to find a solution.” Chef Etchebest stated that he met with other chef friends and talked about the necessary precautions to keep small, medium and even large companies afloat, and said that restaurants cannot be the same as before because of social distance rules when restaurants are opened back. “Restaurants are places where people have fun, but now it will look like hospitals,” the celebrity chef said, adding that it is still up to chefs to offer people a warm environment and good food. Chef Etchebest, who said the government supported the sector as much as it could, stated he thought the crisis would reveal itself after the pandemic, not now. The celebrity chef “Every day I get a message from the owners of the restaurant. They don’t know how to handle it or whom to go to. People are really losing morale and waiting for a solution,” said.